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Joe Cole
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc Outrageous talent and skill some may argue was never fulfilled. But Jose Mourinho nurtured him with tough love at Chelsea, where he picked up three Premier League titles. He peaked in 2006, playing an integral part to that title-winning side, winning himself a place in the PFA Team of the Year and starring for England at the World Cup. His best moments arguably both came against Man United: the solo goal at Stamford Bridge to clinch the title in 2006 and the clever flick to break the deadlock at Old Trafford in 2010 - which would prove to be pivotal as the Blues won the title again that season


Org England National Team
Club as Player Chelsea FC

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[Quote on Ashley Cole] What a servant he has been for his country. To get 100 caps for any country is amazing but for England, with the competition he has had to fend off over the last yen years, it is phenomenal. [. . .] I was lucky enough play on the left side for England many times with him behind me. It’s a dream. You see him coming up in your wing mirrors, overlapping you every time, giving you options, and the one thing about Ashley is he never moans about not getting the ball, which was great for me. And his quality in the final third is brilliant. A lot of people forget he started out as a striker at Arsenal. I remember playing against him as a kid and he was a brilliant striker as well. He’s just a great player

2017 01 28 Retrieve

[Joe Cole thinks Eden Hazard will have a place in the club’s history] I think he’ll go down as Chelsea’s greatest player. He’s certainly the most talented all-round footballer I’ve played with and he’s already a hero with the fans. I hope he stays there for the rest of his career. My first game in France with Lille, [then-coach] Rudi Garcia was saying to me, ‘we’ve got this good kid, Eden Hazard’. He said ‘I want you to play with him’. And then he scored two of the best goals you’ll see within 20 minutes and I thought, ‘I don’t know if I’m good enough to play with him’

2018 04 07 Retrieve

[Joe Cole writes a farewell message to Ray Wilkins] Most of all mate I will miss bumping into you and catching up and I always left your company with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. You will always be ‘dangerously well’. They don’t make them like you anymore Raymond

2018 11 24 Retrieve

[Joe Cole, when asked about the best he had played with] All the English players. Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Wayne Rooney. Then you have the foreign players, Arjen Robben, Eden Hazard; I could go on forever. But if my life depended on it and I had to pick one, I still think it is Hazard that is the best I’ve played with. He was 19 in France and he was just so talented. I look at players and try to break them down into what they’ve got and he just had everything. But also the stuff that is unquantifiable. His heart, what he was about in games, was he there in the big moments? He was just a great player

2019 02 28 Retrieve

[The Blues saw their Kepa Arrizabalaga refuse to be substituted during a meeting with Manchester City at Wembley Stadium] I think the manager’s in such a strong position. He made the right decision, the points are in the pocket. I think he leaves him in. And by the way he’s a full international, he’s a very good goalkeeper. He’s played for Manchester City, he’s played for big clubs, he won’t let you down. Sometimes the goalkeepers, you might say he’s not had much to do. By the way, he would have marshalled that defence, with his experience, telling them where to go. Chelsea looked solid and the players in front of him looked like they were organised. They were outstanding defensively

[Cole also praised the bravery of Sarri in pulling a big-money addition out of the Chelsea side while being fully aware that such a decision could backfire and generate plenty of unwelcome discussion] I think it’s easy for someone like Alex Ferguson, who had them years of dominance and stature at the club, to do things like that. I think for a Chelsea manager to things like that, there’s other factors to it. We’ve seen the history where the club have changed managers quite regularly. So it’s more of a gamble [at Chelsea]. If Alex Ferguson at Man United does that, everything’s going in that direction and that’s that. But at this club things can change very quickly. You can’t criticise the board for that as well because they’ve won things and they’ve been successful. He’s deliberated it a lot and he knows if it goes wrong, it’s going to come on him. But I applaud him for his bravery and I think it’s the right thing

2019 05 27 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Eden Hazard boasts the same ‘beauty of football’ as Barcelona icon Lionel Messi] There’s not many players in the world I’d pay to watch. Probably two - and that’s Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard. Eden mesmerises you with what he can do with the ball. When he or Messi plays you just see the beauty of football. Sometimes with other greats you see the strain. Some people like the idea of that but with those two they make it seem easy. Footballers first, athletes second. If I was down to my last few pounds and I had to pay to take my kids to watch a player it would be Messi and Hazard. I remember at Lille’s training ground seeing Hazard score the best goal I’ve ever seen. He might not even remember but I do.

I think the manager had left him out for a game for some reason. We played an 11-a-side and it was the first time I’ve ever seen Eden play angry. He picked up the ball from the full-back position, drove past three or four players and hit a shot similar to Ronaldo’s one against Porto which just arrowed in. There aren’t many moments in your career where a goal stops training and everyone just applauds. Still, to this day it’s the best goal I can recall. Anyway, he was back in the team for the next game

If it is to be his last game his name will stand alongside the likes of Peter Osgood, Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, John Terry. He stands shoulder to shoulder with them. I stand by my claim he is the most talented player to play for Chelsea

2019 08 08 Retrieve

[Joe Cole sees benefits to Chelsea’s two-window transfer ban] It’s an opportunity. No one would have chosen to have a transfer ban, but what this has done is give us a moment in time and an opportunity to change the culture and the energy and how the club is perceived. The young players are excited - there’s an excitement in the club that I’ve not sensed before. The club has been exceptional over the past 20 years, particularly since Roman Abramovich [bought the Blues in 2003], it’s been the most successful club in the country in terms of winning trophies. I think we need to recognise that, but if you’re going to catch Manchester City, you need more. More cohesion, [to be] more settled, everything around the club - and I think Frank’s the man to bring that

[Cole is convinced that Lampard and Chelsea have picked the right time for a reunion] He knows the time is right. People say you can’t turn it down. You can turn it down, there’s always an option. He could have said no. He feels he’s ready and, having known Frank for many years, if he’s ready, he’s ready. It’ll be a success. In everything he’s done he’s been successful. I can’t see there being anyone better qualified to manage Chelsea at this time

2019 08 24 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Tammy Abraham is capable of being Chelsea’s No.9 for many, many years] Tammy’s got all the attributes to be a Chelsea centre forward in the long run because of his pace, strength and hold up play. He just needs to keep improving because he’s a young man and there’s no reason why he can’t become Chelsea’s No.9 for many, many years. He keeps defenders honest. With Olivier Giroud they can maybe play a high line and Tammy can learn from Giroud.

[Mason Mount was also on target for Chelsea at Norwich] Mason Mount brings energy and he understands what Frank wants to do, how Frank wants to play because he’s been at the club for so many years

Frank deserves a lot of credit for picking these players, they’ve come in for a little bit of criticism but he’s stuck by them. I think today was a pivotal, pivotal moment in the career for Lampard as a manager because those decisions have come to the fore today and they’ve worked very well for him. Those boys are in there on merit, forget the age, all good managers put that to the side, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough

2019 09 28 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Liverpool are fully equipped to win the league] This team’s got everything, they’re fully equipped to win the league. But more importantly I put them now as firm favourites because I can see little weaknesses with Man City. With Liverpool we’ve had to trawl for half a weakness. If they don’t win the title they’ll go down as the best team not to win it

2019 10 25 Retrieve

[Joe Cole bills Fikayo Tomori as young William Gallas] He reminds me a lot of a young William Gallas. We talk about his development, for me, it has been absolutely perfect. He had had his whole youth career in the academy, then his first six months at Derby with Frank and then Ashley Cole has come in to play next to him for six months. Ash [Cole] used to speak to him every game, you couldn’t think of a better way to be educated and become a top-class centre-back. His ball [against Southampton] is a little bit sloppy and that’s why Frank [Lampard] calls him his project player because he is going to get better. He will get even, even better and all these little things will get ironed out

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[Joe Cole has not been surprised by Reece James’s emergence at Chelsea] When I was playing in America [with Tampa Bay Rowdies], I came around to train with the kids. We were having shooting session and the kids’ shooting was erratic, but James was on the money, on the money, whipping crosses, it was like watching Beckham

It was a crazy game. They were hard to break down and we took advantage of them going down to nine men, it was a shame we couldn’t win. Scoring a goal is a bonus. The manager told me to come on and liven the boys up, we had chances to win it but from where we were at half-time it’s a good result. I had some mad nights and some great nights, but for everything that it was, it was certainly right up there. Chelsea fans know the story of what we have done in the Champions League but I don’t really want to talk about that. For a performance like today you need personalities and characters - at 4-1 down it is easy to give it away and give it up

2019 11 27 Retrieve

[Joe Cole gives real reason Frank Lampard dropped Fikayo Tomori vs Valencia. The former attacking midfielder says Valencia do not possess the pace the likes of City have in attack, which is why Lampard opted to go with Christensen instead of the quicker Tomori at the back] Runs in behind [is the best way to exploit Chelsea]. They set up to have the ball and keep possession, so when you do that you’re playing in an expansive way. Rodrigo in particular is going to have to run in-behind. His movement’s great, his timing’s good, he’s always in there and he’s probing. Valencia are a team that will try and overload. I doubt whether they’ve got the power in their legs, the sprinters in the team

2019 12 14 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Mohamed Salah looked Lionel Messi-esque at times in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Watford] There’s nothing Watford can do about it. The pass [from Sadio Mane] into the space is unbelievable but don’t underestimate that, the weight of pass there. He’s inviting Salah to take it on his good foot. But then it’s all about Mo Salah there, we saw him score a goal in the week which was just unbelievable. From Watford’s perspective as well, look at the amount of defenders trying to get back. I know they’re 0-0 at Anfield, give good credit to them, but the finish, that little touch he took there, most players haven’t got that composure, that little Messi touch, where you chop inside and just want to get the shot away. That little extra touch took it out so he could get his body shape right and just lift it into the top corner. It’s unbelievable talent and that’s the difference between the two teams. The high elite people get to this level. He wanted to improve his right foot and he’s scored three absolute worldies on his right this week

[Cole considers them to be out of sight] I think the title’s done. This year it’s coming to Anfield no problem whatsoever. But, there will be another two or three more games like this. We really felt the tension when it was 1-0. You have to go through pain to win a title, you have to go through games where you’re not playing well and things are just not working and you show character, and Liverpool showed a lot of character. There were so many incidents where Liverpool got a little bit agitated, but when they did finally get it and Jordan Henderson strung a few passes together, all the little things you have to do when you know your team’s not playing well, they got there in the end. It’s a cliche but you have to win like that sometimes to win titles

2019 12 17 Retrieve

[Joe Cole urges Chelsea board to give Lampard final say on transfers] The one thing I would say is there will be a discussion among all the people, the board, whoever’s in that department, the scouts, [technical and performance advisor] Petr Cech, Frank… the one person who’s the most important person in that room is Frank

You must give Frank the players he wants. Don’t give him a player that he sort of likes and might do well. Frank has to be the one that’s convinced with it because he’s the one who’s going to work with that player.

This is [Cech’s] job now. He’s got to go out and sell the club, he’s got to go out to those top, top player, identify them, work with the scouting department and underneath him, and go and get the players that are right for Frank.

The one thing Lamps has shown, he’s shown that he can improve players - and not just Frank, but his coaching staff too. They’re improving players on the job and winning games. It’s very tough to do that

2020 01 02 Retrieve

[Joe Cole hopes the club will continue to show faith in a promising academy graduate who remains in talks over a new contract] Well, you certainly don’t need to replace Tammy Abraham. I think he has made himself irreplaceable as a member of the group at Chelsea because he’s a young lad who epitomises what the club is about. He knows the club and that’s without the stuff that he’s doing on the pitch. On the pitch he’s been fantastic, he’s scored goals, he’s led the line, he’s been a revelation. But what Chelsea, and any of the top clubs will do, is they will always look what’s around: ‘Can we improve?’ So I think unless they’re going to bring in someone who is going to compete with him, not to go above him or below him as a youngster - someone to compete with him

I believe he can [be Chelsea’s long-term striker]. The mentality, the mindset and when you’ve got a young player with them two attributes - forget the speed, the strength, technical ability - if you’ve got those two attributes, you can work with that and he’s just got better and better. We’ve seen it with our own eyes how he’s got better over the last three, four years. He’s been a revelation

2020 01 24 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Wolves striker Raul Jimenez should be the first name on the transfer wish lists of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham] Wolves fans won’t thank me for saying it but if I’m Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United and you’ve got a chequebook ready to go, he’s the first name. If you want someone to make an instant impact on your team, you want someone to tick boxes, who knows the league, knows the flow of English football. It’s all well and good being part of a project but when Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham come for you, it may turn your head. For me, he could quite easily play for any one of those teams because he’s got so much ability. He’s one of my favourite players to watch

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea star Joe Cole says Bayern defeat shows Chelsea made a mistake not buying in January] I think knowing this game was on the horizon, Frank would have been desperate to get players through the door. You’ve asked [Olivier] Giroud, who’s done brilliant for you at the weekend, he’s not been fit and a 32-year-old striker to come and lead the line against probably one of the best sides in Europe at the moment, it just looked like he ran out of steam towards the end. So not recruiting has definitely affected the performance and the team

Bayern Munich were sublime from start to finish. We talked about the patterns of play, the passing, they just really drilled Chelsea tonight and it’s a momentous task for them going to Germany

2020 02 27 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Reece James will ‘push Alexander-Arnold all the way’ for England spot] He’s different class, Reece, people talk about his delivery but he’s very rarely out of position defensively, he’s a strong lad, he’s cold, he’s calculated in his play. He’s been one of Chelsea’s most consistent players over the last few weeks. He’s going to be pushing Trent all the way. When he gets the ball you feel safe in any position. He just puts balls into the area, it’s inviting if you’re a striker. Maybe there will have to be a system change because this guy could be playing for England very, very soon

2020 03 20 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Tanguy Ndombele should be looking to respond positively to Jose Mourinho’s public criticism] When it happened to me it was not a problem. It is a grown up’s sport. If you don’t play well or you don’t do what you are supposed to do, whether you expect to get criticised publicly or not, you need to be tough, you need to understand the nature of the beast. He is a young man, the right response is to knuckle down and perform. I saw the performance in question and if he was one of my players that would have been my stance on it. Whether or not I did it publicly, that is always the discussion to have with your coaching staff, what’s the benefit? For the young lad, this is football, it can be a tough, brutal sport at times. You’re in the limelight, but we are very lucky to do what we have to do so you have to take the rough with the smooth

Jose will know what he is doing, he will know what the lad’s character is. He will expect the lad to react, turn his time at Tottenham around, kick-start his career or he will expect for the lad to move on. It will be nothing personal but certain jobs have to be done on the pitch. Hopefully, the lad can do that. At times that treatment worked on me. He gets the best out of a lot of players, that is why he has won multiple trophies at multiple clubs across Europe. He knows about managing people. He knows when to whip the horse and when to not and that is management

2020 03 20b Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Mourinho trying to turn a cruise ship at Spurs] Jose has gone into a difficult situation. In the media in particular there is a lot of anti-Jose, people who are very quick to jump on Jose’s back, especially for someone who has been as successful as him. You need to look at the job in perspective, I think it had run its course under Pochettino. I think the team wasn’t playing well, it needed a change. But it’s like turning a cruise ship, you can’t just turn it on a sixpence, it takes time. He needs time, he needs to bring the right players in. I think the relationship with Daniel Levy is important, if Levy gets him the players he wants and gives him time I think it will be a success for him. It’s just how every time Spurs lose a game […] Spurs were losing games under Pochettino, players weren’t playing well. I think some of the players may have run their course at Tottenham. They are all great players but sometimes your time is up. They are in a rebuild situation

2020 03 23 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Billy Gilmour is already a massive asset for Chelsea] We are the cream of Europe now in England, and Scotland too with Billy. We are producing big amounts of these players. They just keep coming through the production line. The future is bright for British football. It’s fantastic

Billy is terrific, a real talent. A cultured footballer. He can be what he wants. I like him in that midfield role. But I think he might eventually develop and play further up the pitch, like a 10. All Billy needs to do is keep his feet on the ground. He’s another massive asset for Chelsea. It will all come down to how he performs. Once you’ve got that shirt it’s up to you to deal with it. To be where he is and playing how he is, is a massive achievement for him and his parents. He’s a well-grounded young man.

[Asked to pick out his top five, the ex-England international] It’s a real tough one but I’m going for Jack Grealish, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Billy Gilmour. They are all very similar, handle the ball so well. All very much modern-day midfielders. They could be in any order. These guys are really pushing each other to get better. You can bet they’re all watching each other and trying to improve

2020 03 23b Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Restart from scratch if we cannot finish the Premier League] Obviously we need to finish the season as soon as we can, if we’re allowed to. That would be ideal. If we can’t finish the season, and it’s getting close to the following season, the only situation which I think is fair is to just restart it. Everyone’s tribal. Everyone wants what’s best for their clubs. But unless you do a blanket thing for everyone, it’s going to have knock-on effects. In my opinion, that’s the only solution. Restart from scratch if we cannot finish the league

I’m sure there are more intelligent people than me coming up with solutions but we’re in a situation as a country where we have to stick together. Everyone in the football world needs to understand that as well. Finishing a 100 metre race at 70 metres leaves a lot of arguments. We’ve seen so many times in sport - it throws up so many surprises, doesn’t it? You can never be sure what’s going to happen. We’re in a situation where people have to be selfless in their lives and in football we need to lead the way. It’s going to benefit some clubs and others are going to be very upset but bigger things than football are at stake. It’s people’s lives and livelihoods

2020 03 23c Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Barkley can drive Chelsea on to win trophies just like Lampard did] Ross has improved. He is a top player. I’m a big fan of Ross Barkley. Always have been. He’s been a bit less spoken about because of Jack Grealish and James Maddison and Mason Mount. But he’s done a terrific job at Chelsea. The last two games, against Liverpool and Everton, he was brilliant. Absolutely fantastic. I’ve always thought he was a top player and I think he’ll be at Chelsea for many, many years. Now the challenge for Ross is can he keep doing that, can he be that player who drives Chelsea on to win trophies, like his manager was? I think he can

I’m pleased if people can see similarities between him and me because I’m a big fan. I think I just developed at Chelsea. It wasn’t just Jose. He’s a fantastic manager. But I was playing with better players. More expectation. I grew into my body a bit. And winning trophies breeds confidence. I like everything about Ross. Technically, he’s spot on. The mental aspect of the game, he’s getting better and better. Tactically he is improving all the time. I just think he’s a top, top player for Chelsea and England. As football evolves, players like him are getting more and more valued. He’s a fantastic player

2020 04 17 Retrieve

[Joe Cole switches focus to NHS heroes with £1m charity drive] The help the NHS does now needs to be remembered. It is going to be a massive thing for our generation. There’s been nothing like this in our lifetimes that has affected the world so much and touched all our lives. People are losing loved ones at the top end of the scale; then there’s people’s jobs being taken away or just being locked in. It is something that has made us realise that we are all in it together. We need to be better to people. We need to hold onto it when we come out of this on the other end. Globally, we need to make sure it can’t happen again. We started up the charity initiative which has gone crazy and it has taken up a lot of our time. Me and my wife have been looking to help because we have a lot of friends in the NHS: doctors, nurses and surgeons. We wanted to put our money somewhere and we didn’t find the right place that we liked. We met some friends and started it four weeks ago. It has gone from strength to strength and we have raised over to £750,000 and we are going strong. We are getting PPE to the frontline with the donations from companies and brands. We are just bringing awareness to it and trying to do our bit. We have 20 volunteers working with us with all different skill sets. It has taken on a life of itself and it has been a force for good. This is not something that is just for the next four or five weeks. This is something we hope stays around for a long time because these people are heroes with what they do. We are delighted we can do a little bit to help but you have to do it

It was an unbelievable year. My journey at Chelsea is not done yet; I am sure I will be back someday in some capacity. I learned so much. It is amazing what a high-level environment it is and it is shown by the achievements. Everyone there was brilliant and I just wanted to broaden up my horizons. I will probably come back at some point. I had set up training ground visits all over the world that I was lining up. I was going to be with England U21s in March for that campaign. I was going to get over to Germany to work. I had all these things in place which have been knocked back. I want to go around the world and meet the top managers at top clubs to see what everyone is doing to be at the front. There’s a sense of that [wanting to be a coach like Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard or John Terry], but I don’t see it in the near future. I see a different route. I will come out of this and we will all have different perspectives on life. It is something that I will do at some point and stepping into that I want to be well informed by going around the world and I love my job at BT Sport. I am picking up and learning all the time. When my time comes I will know, but at the moment I have a lot to do. The show, my charity and I feel like it is a lot on my plate

Mason is a terrific player with the world at his feet. He is a fantastic footballer with a great attitude. It is like 99 per cent of the lads in the academy who are so well-schooled off the pitch in that system that they have been brought up in. He has the right attitude. I think he could potentially be at Chelsea for the next 10 or 15 years. It is a privilege to have watched him come through the youth stage in the latter stages that I did. He has developed into the player he has. I think he will be better after this stoppage as he will have time to take it all in and realise what he has done. After this, he will be a better and stronger player. That first game when we sit down together as a world community to kick-start the Premier League will be a great moment. We will all sit back and we will all remember how much we are privileged to be living in this age where we can watch these Premier League players and these Champions League players do their thing

2020 04 18 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Chelsea need to be taking inspiration from Manchester United when it comes to experienced figures in their youthful squad Chelsea need to be taking inspiration from Manchester United when it comes to experienced figures in their youthful squad] We’ve credited the young players at Chelsea because they’ve come through, burst onto the scene and been amazing. But Giroud, Willian and Pedro are three top class players who have been really massive for the club, particularly Willian, who’s a club legend, the players and the fans love him. I hope they can hang onto that experience - if they want to be part of this new, exciting team that they’re building. They can use that experience in the same way that Manchester United hung onto Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville. If they can accept that role where they’re coming in - that they might not play as much as they used to but they’re helping blood an era which could be as good as any era in the club’s history - then there’s a role to play for all of them. I think they’re all world-class players and it would be tough for any club to replace those three

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Fabio Capello didn’t fully commit to England and disrespected David James] You have to say he is a legendary manager of the game, what he’s achieved is unbelievable. I think it was never a marriage that worked in the sense that, I don’t feel like he committed fully to the England national team - and when I say that, I do with full respect because I do think he was a great, great manager, but you need to be across the whole thing, like Gareth [Southgate] is doing. He is really showing the way in terms of what is required in that situation and I felt Fabio, for whatever reason, didn’t commit fully to the task, but I say that respectfully because working with him, I could see he had that quality. The things he’d do, the things he’d say, he had something. I just think it was always tinged

[The Italian boss narrowed it down to Joe Hart or David James] That’s wrong. I wouldn’t consider myself in the bracket of senior players who maybe had the manager’s ear with things like that, but I just think that’s disrespectful to Jamo to say that. You can have a valid footballing reason for talking about someone, if you can back it up. For instance, when I talk about Fabio I think of a legend of a game, a great manager, I just think, was he fully committed to the England national team during that spell?’ We just weren’t good enough. I don’t want to make excuses. That Germany team went on to win the World Cup [in 2014]. We weren’t good enough at the time - we had injuries, you can’t point fingers just at the manager, as footballers we just weren’t good enough to do it

2020 06 20 Retrieve

[Former Blues favourite Joe Cole thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are improving, but that Frank Lampard can get his team over the line] It’s hard because none of us have seen any kind of form, we don’t know what’s going on. You look at the logic and Pogba is going to be back fit for Man Utd. Bruno Fernandes will have settled in a little bit more. He looks like an excellent signing. They’ll be chasing Chelsea down. The logical thing is Man Utd will come back stronger because they’ve got their best player back in Paul Pogba, but I think Frank’s got enough to hang on in there and nick that fourth place. I know Frank’s a winner and he’ll be looking at the FA Cup as well. That’s vitally important for that club because over the last 20 years has been built on winning trophies and that’s what the fans want to see

The managers have a real hire wire job to do, you’ve got to crack the whip to get the players fit, and any players in their squad who are a little bit fragile, or susceptible to injuries, they’re the ones that you risk losing. A hamstring problem, a three or four-week problem now, that’s the season done. Managers have to get the right balance to get the fitness into the legs but also keeping them fresh enough so they don’t pick up any silly niggling injuries. An experienced manager now is vital. If you get it wrong and lose two or three of your best players for a three or four-week spell, you really give yourself less of a chance of achieving your goal.

2020 06 21 Retrieve

[former Stamford Bridge favourite Joe Cole expressed his belief that Lampard will lead his old club to a top-four finish after an unbelievable first year at the helm] The future’s looking bright, you know, credit to the club for appointing Frank at the start of the season. It was a bold decision and credit to Frank, I think he’s been unbelievable, his staff as well

2020 06 21b Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Frank Lampard will guide Chelsea to a top-four finish in the final weeks of the season] I’m going to stick with the four teams that are there, but I think Man Utd will push all the way. I don’t think Chelsea will fall, Frank will have enough. I think Leicester could fall because of their lack of experience, as a club at the top, top echelons. I know they won the league a few years ago, but I think if you’re going to ask if any of the teams would fall out, I think possibly it could be Leicester. I think Chelsea will be fine, I think Frank will be fine

The future’s looking bright, you know, credit to the club for appointing Frank at the start of the season. It was a bold decision and credit to Frank, I think he’s been unbelievable, his staff as well. He’s brought his staff in, people he can trust, people who do their job very well. He’s really steadied the ship, you know, a great job right from the academy, the club’s really pulling in the right direction and the names they are linked with I think are bang on. I think they’re the right type of players for Chelsea, so the club in that sense I think is in a strong, strong position and, you know, a lot of people have to share out the credit for that, but I think mainly you’ve got to look at Frank coming in. I think he’s taken it in his stride and he looks like he’s going to be a top, top manager.

2020 06 21c Retrieve

[Aston Villa star Jack Grealish would shine for any team in the world] I’m sure he has plenty of options. Any of the big clubs, not just in England but Europe. I think he’s the type that can pull on any shirt and it wouldn’t be too heavy for him. I include the England shirt with that. His England career has been a long time coming for various reasons but no shirt would be too heavy for Jack. He’d be able to wear it

I love Jack. I think he’s an immense talent. I love watching him play. Jack is the kind of player that, as fans, you go to watch football for. He plays strong-minded, super talented, he’s artistic and he’s become a pivotal figure at Aston Villa. I think if they were to go down I think even the most ardent of Villa fans would wish him well on his way, and he’s just a great player.

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says Ben Chilwell fits the ethos at Chelsea] Similar to [Timo] Werner, he fits the ethos - he is young, he’s hungry, he’s explosive and athletic. I think he’s got a lot of talent, if he comes to Chelsea, working with the group there - in Brendan [Rodgers] he’s got a great manager and a great team up at Leicester. But Chelsea’s a step up from Leicester. I know they are sitting above Chelsea in the table at the moment but having the opportunity to work with Frank and improve would be immense for him. He’s got the left-back position for England in his hands at the moment. My advice would be to keep performing, keep consistent and if he does do that he can be England’s left-back and, if he does come to Chelsea, Chelsea’s left-back for many years. He’s a terrific player, a real talent

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[Joe Cole says the time has come for Jurgen Klopp to experiment with Trent Alexander-Arnold in a midfield role] Trent has won everything in the game he can win. He is 21 and I bet he doesn’t even think about that. He goes onto the pitch and is free. If I was Jurgen Klopp now I would use this opportunity to have a look at him in the midfield. He is one of the best passers in the country anywhere. I would maybe even try him in the midfield for England. That range of passing, the set-pieces, he is just a fantastic talent and he is going to be having the time of his life